PlanSource Benefits Benchmark Report: Despite Increasing Cost and Number of Benefits Offered, Employees Spend Little Time Enrolling

First annual benchmark report analyzes employee benefits trends based on data from 92 million benefit elections made in the PlanSource system

PlanSource, a leading provider of cloud-based benefits software and services, published its first annual Benefits Benchmark Report, which analyzes top trends in employee benefits among employers using the PlanSource system, including benefit types offered, enrollment statistics, contribution amounts and costs.

Among the key findings of the report is that, despite the rising cost of providing insurance to employees and a growing number of benefits offered, employees spend relatively little time selecting their benefits. The data shows that mid-to-large companies offer more benefits than small companies. On average, companies with more than 1,000 employees offer 23 different benefits. At the same time, employees spend a mere 18 minutes completing the enrollment process. In contrast, consumers spend four hours on average researching a mobile phone purchase.

“The trends we see in the Benchmark Report make it clear that employees need an engaging retail shopping experience for their benefits,” said Nancy Sansom, Chief Commercial Officer at PlanSource. “Employers are offering an increasing number of benefits as they vie to attract and retain top talent, yet employees are only spending a few minutes on the enrollment process. And considering the rising cost of insurance, companies need to make the most of this short window of time and create new and innovative ways to communicate with and educate employees about their benefits.”

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Key findings of the report include:

  • Employees spend 18 minutes on average enrolling in benefits – Open enrollment trends show that employees spend relatively little time enrolling in their benefits and tend to wait until the end of their open enrollment period to enroll. To counteract this, companies are investing in technology that provides a personalized and engaging benefits experience for their employees.
  • The number of benefits offered is varied and increasing – Employers are offering increasingly more benefits to employees. The number of medical plans and total benefits offered varies greatly by company size, with the number of plans and benefits increasing with organization size.
  • The cost of providing medical insurance continues to rise – Health care costs are on the rise, with increases in average employee and employer contributions for all types of medical plans offered in 2018. For companies using PlanSource as their benefits technology platform, premiums rose 8%-9%, which is slightly higher than cost increases seen in other industry studies.
  • Increasing use of HSAs by employers and employees – The report shows only a slight uptick in employers offering High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) but significant growth in companies offering Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The number of employers offering an HSA increased by 125% between 2016 – 2018. Contributions to HSAs have increased as well, with employers contributing $992 on average in 2018 and employees contributing $2,076.
  • Benefits on the rise beyond medical insurance – 76% of employers using PlanSource offer Basic Life insurance and just over 50% offer Long Term Disability. Ancillary benefits on the rise include identity theft protection, legal assistance and parking and transit benefits.

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The PlanSource Benefits Benchmark Report is based on anonymous user data from the PlanSource benefits administration platform. The enrollment data represents trends established from more than 92 million benefit elections made within the PlanSource system.

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